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Air Fryer Fried Chicken KFC Copycat

A deliciously moist and authentic copycat KFC Chicken recipe. This Air Fryer fried chicken is golden brown and delicious. It’s soaked in buttermilk for delicious Southern flavor.

Air Fryer Fried Chicken KFC Copycat 2

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KFC Copycat Air Fryer Fried Chicken

It’s no surprise that fried chicken is one of America’s favorite comfort foods. However, it can be hard to find a restaurant or fast food joint that offers air fryer chicken.

The good news is you don’t have to wait for your next vacation to get your hands on some crispy, juicy air fryer chicken!

Who doesn’t love Kentucky Fried Chicken? For years, people have been trying to copycat KFC Fried Chicken. Well, this is about the closest you are going to get.

I’ve heard of some saying there is a copycat recipe out there that tastes nothing like KFC. However, this air fryer Fried Chicken tastes just like it because if it didn’t, my husband wouldn’t eat it. He’s fussy like that. lol

This Air Fryer fried chicken is a healthier and easier version of traditional fried chicken. Soaked in buttermilk, covered in seasoned flour, and air-fried to perfection.

These days with time constraints and kids’ schedules to contend with, cooking an entire meal can seem like a daunting task.

But what if you could make your favorite fried chicken in less time than it takes to preheat the oven? This is where the air fryer comes in handy!

Air frying is a healthy way of cooking, no guilt here! And because air frying doesn’t use any oil at all, after only ten minutes of cooking you’ll have delicious fried food without worrying about grease splattering everywhere.

buttermilk fried chicken air fryer

KFC Spice Blend Ingredients:

  • chicken drumsticks or thighs
  • Buttermilk
  • Eggs
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Thyme
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Celery salt
  • Black pepper
  • Dried mustard
  • Paprika
  • Garlic salt
  • Ground ginger
  • White pepper
  • Oil of choice (peanut or vegetable oil) (for deep frying version)
  • For exact amounts, please see the recipe card below.

What’s the hype about Air Fryers?

In the last few years, air fryers have been gaining momentum as a healthier alternative to deep-frying.

Air frying is a cooking technique that cooks food by circulating hot air around it with a fan.

It’s also easier than using an oven since there’s no need to preheat anything – you can just throw your items into an air fryer basket and cook them up.

The best part of this cooking method is that it reduces the amount of time needed to make your favorite fried foods like French fries, onion rings, wings, and more!

air fryer chicken thighs

What can you cook in an air fryer?

You can cook just about anything in them, from meat and vegetables to desserts!

The list includes chicken wings, french fries, and onion rings and so much more. My air fryer sits on my counter all the time.

I use it from breakfast through dinner for pretty much everything. There really isn’t anything that you can’t put in it.

 

How to Make KFC Fried Chicken in the Air Fryer

Soak the chicken legs in buttermilk for up to 24 hours before starting this recipe.

Place the eggs in one bowl and the flour and spices in a second bowl. Stir the spices well into the flour and beat the eggs.

kfc spice blend

Place an oven-safe cooling rack over top of a baking sheet.

Remove chicken one piece at a time from the buttermilk.

Dredge each chicken leg in the flour, then the eggs, and then the flour once again.

KFC AIR FRYER FRIED CHICKEN

Put the coated drumstick on the cooling rack and repeat with the remaining chicken.

copycat kfc chicken in air fryer

Preheat air fryer to 390°.

Place Parchment round in the bottom of air fryer so the chicken doesn’t stick to the bottom.

Lay chicken in a single layer in Ninja Foodi or Air Fryer so the pieces aren’t touching.

Air Fry for 13 minutes. Flip over. If there are any dry spots where the flour is showing, you can spritz with olive oil. Fry for another 13 minutes.

Check that the internal temperature is 165°. If not then cook for 5 minutes at a time until done.

how to cook chicken leg quarters in the air fryer

Enjoy!

air fried kfc copycat chicken

Deep Fried and Oven Fried Chicken Directions

Preheat oven to 300F

Soak the chicken legs in buttermilk for up to 24 hours before starting this recipe.

Break the eggs in one bowl and the flour and spices in a second bowl. Stir the spices well into the flour and beat the eggs.

Place an oven-safe cooling rack over top of a baking sheet – this will serve two purposes during your recipe.

Remove chicken one piece at a time from the buttermilk.

Dredge each chicken leg in the flour, then the eggs, and then the flour once again.

KFC AIR FRYER FRIED CHICKEN

 Place the coated drumstick on the cooling rack and repeat with the remaining chicken.

copycat kfc chicken in air fryer

 Pour your oil in a large dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat. (You can alternatively use a deep fryer.)

KFC AIR FRYER FRIED CHICKEN

Fry the chicken legs in batches of 3 for 2-4 minutes until the coating is golden.

 Remove the chicken to the cooling rack and repeat with the remaining chicken.

If You are Baking in the Oven

Follow steps and instead of frying in oil, place in oven to bake.

Bake for 35-45 minutes until an inserted thermometer reads 165F.

KFC COPYCAT CHICKEN
Yield: 10

Air Fryer Fried Chicken KFC Copycat

buttermilk fried chicken air fryer

A deliciously moist and authentic copycat KFC Chicken recipe. This Air Fryer fried chicken is golden brown and delicious. It’s soaked in buttermilk for delicious Southern flavor.

Prep Time 12 hours
Cook Time 26 minutes
Total Time 12 hours 26 minutes

Ingredients

  • 10 chicken drumsticks or thighs
  • 1 cup Buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2/3 teaspoon salt
  • Half teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1/3 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • Teaspoon black pepper
  • One teaspoon dried mustard
  • 4 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 teaspoon white pepper

Instructions

  1. Soak the chicken legs in buttermilk for up to 24 hours before starting this recipe.
  2. Beat the eggs in one bowl and the flour and spices in a second bowl. Stir the spices well into the flour and beat the eggs.
  3. Place an oven-safe cooling rack overtop of a baking sheet.
  4. Remove chicken one piece at a time from buttermilk.
  5. Dredge each chicken leg in the flour, then the eggs, and then the flour once again. Place the coated drumstick on the cooling rack and repeat with remaining chicken.
  6. Preheat Air Fryer to 390°.
  7. Place Parchment round in bottom of air fryer so chicken doesn't stick to bottom. 
  8. Lay chicken in a single layer in Ninja Foodie or Air Fryer so the pieces aren't touching.
  9. Air Fry for 13 minutes. Flip over. If there are any dry spots where the flour is showing, you can spritz with olive oil. Fry for another 13 minutes. Check that the internal temperature is 165°. If not then cook for 5 minutes at a time until done.
  10. Enjoy!

Deep Fried & Oven Fried Chicken Directions:

  1. 6+ cups oil of choice (peanut or vegetable oil) (for deep frying version)
  2. Preheat oven to 300F.
  3. Soak the chicken legs in buttermilk for up to 24 hours before starting this recipe.
  4. Break the eggs in one bowl and the flour and spices in a second bowl. Stir the spices well into the flour and beat the eggs.
  5. Place an oven-safe cooling rack overtop of a baking sheet - this will serve two purposes during your recipe.
  6. Remove chicken one piece at a time from buttermilk.
  7. Dredge each chicken leg in the flour, then the eggs, and then the flour once again. Place the coated drumstick on the cooling rack and repeat with remaining chicken.
  8. Pour your oil in a large dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat. (You can alternatively use a deep fryer.)
  9. Fry the chicken legs in batches of 3 for 2-4 minutes until the coating is golden. 
  10. Remove the chicken to the cooling rack and repeat with remaining chicken.

If You're Baking in Oven

Folllow steps and instead of frying in oil, place in oven to bake.

Bake for 35-45 minutes until an inserted thermometer reads 165F.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

3

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1063Total Fat: 39gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 568mgSodium: 2518mgCarbohydrates: 73gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 100g

Nutrition may vary depending on the products used.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

With this recipe, you’ll be able to make your own delicious KFC-style fried chicken right in the comfort of your kitchen. Just follow along with these detailed instructions and enjoy all the flavors of the Colonel without any hassle!

air fryer fried chicken

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Air Fryer Fried Chicken KFC Copycat 2

Deb

Tuesday 28th of September 2021

After reading all of the great reviews I was really looking forward to having the chicken. It was the worse chicken ever, the coating was inedible. Very disappointed

Mary

Wednesday 29th of September 2021

Sorry you did not like it.

Amanda Kirby-Sheppard

Friday 20th of August 2021

Made this for dinner tonight - only had 8 drumsticks (not 10) but i would say that all the ratios were good except for the flour...there was WAY too much. Next time I will only do 1 c. of flour with all the spices and see how it turns out as I threw away a LOT of seasoned flour. Tasted great tho and the air fryer worked wonderfully...i wonder if the ppl who are having an air fryer fail are ususing the Tfal type air fryer vs. the more modern air fryers?

Mary

Friday 20th of August 2021

I'm sure there is a difference between air fryers just as there are with microwaves.

Lauren Richardson

Sunday 8th of August 2021

Hi Mary, Is the nutritional info for the air fried, oven fried or deep fried? Thanks,

Mary

Tuesday 10th of August 2021

The nutritional information is for Air Fried.

Azuki

Sunday 11th of July 2021

I tried this recipe and it has a lot of flavor, a bit on the salty side (but we usually tend to go light on salt). I did marinate the chicken in the spice mix and that may make a difference, but it definitely is not bland. I've checked other copycat versions and they are more or less similar. Do note that this one uses 2/3 teaspoon salt + 2 teaspoon garlic salt + 1 teaspoon celery salt. If you are using garlic powder than make adjustment.

My only problem is getting that lovely golden crust. I sprayed oil on the chicken but it just didn't come out very beautiful.

Anyway here's a pic of the chicken I cooked with notes:

https://www.instagram.com/p/CRK_-rnsoKQ/

KFC Copycat Fried Chicken | Sesame Azuki

Saturday 10th of July 2021

[…] of the recipes, with slight variation in ingredients and quantity, I based mine mostly from┬áhere: https://dinedreamdiscover.com/air-fryer-fried-chicken-kfc-copycat/As I am cooking only four drumsticks for two, I halved the quantities. One version I saw marinated […]

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